Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Terri Schiavo. Extraordinary action was taken by Congress this weekend in order to bring her case to Federal Court. (If you pay taxes in the U.S. - thanks! You paid for those flights back to D.C.) The President signed the passed bill in the hallway of the White House, outside of his bedroom.

From The Daily Telegraph:
Mr Bush said he stepped into the Schiavo case because the US should have "a presumption in favor of life", but critics said there were 152 executions in Texas during his administration, including some in which the convict's guilt was in doubt.
It's not the same - convicts are markedly different than Mrs. Schiavo, but let's remember that this is a Gov'ner who signed the death order for a profoundly retarded convict that had the mentality of a 7 year-old. Right Political Gateway?
When he was offered an alternative to capital punishment in the case of persons with diminished capacities, he refused to bend. Bush opposed any and all legislation regarding instituting life without parole and banning the execution of people with IQ's less than 65. In his mind, there was no differentiation and the "mentally retarded" or "mentally challenged" should be afforded no extra protection under the law.
I suppose this case would be more cut and dry if Terri Schiavo regained consciousness, got a gun and killed a cop. Then there'd be no doubt - we'd help her die. Hell, we'll supply the needle!

But Terri isn't going to return to consciousness. The lack of blood to her brain during her heart attack - probably brought on by her ongoing fight with bulemia [registration required, sorry] - has destroyed the part of her brain containing her personality.

She. is. dead. There's no there there.

Even if she could regain some sort of consciousness, I think her first thought would be "Why haven't you allowed me to die?!"

Frankly, I informed my parents tonight that if - God forbid - something like this should happen they should let me die. Plus, a good friend should rush over and get rid of all my porn before my parents get here. But more importantly, they should not allow anyone to take pictures of me in that state. Terri looks like shit! I know she wouldn't want that.

It's ironic, isn't it The Chicago Tribune?
Ironic that when President Bush was governor of Texas in 1999, he signed into law the state's Advance Directives Act, which says that, "If a hospital or other health provider disagrees with a (patient surrogate's) decision to maintain or halt life-sustaining treatment … the case goes before a medical committee. If the committee agrees with the doctor, the guardian or surrogate has 10 days to seek treatment elsewhere," according to an Associated Press summary.
It seems to mess with states' rights, doesn't it Newsday?
In passing the legislation to "save" Terri Schiavo, Congress overturned two centuries of legal precedent that gives states the power to regulate such matters and state courts the power to settle disputes over them.
You sure do use odd words, don't you Contra Costa Times? [registration required, sorry]
There is no doubt that a this basic moral question has morphed into a political donnybrook.
Let's discount "activist judges" (yes Bill O'Reilly, I'm looking right. at. you.). Help me out, Philadelphia Daily News [registration required, sorry]:

For the first eight years, Michael Schiavo and Terri's parents shared her care. Then Michael petitioned a Florida court to decide whether her feeding tube should be removed. The court heard testimony from doctors about Terri's medical condition and from Michael and others about Terri's stated wishes. The court ruled that there was "clear and convincing" evidence that Terri Schiavo would not want life-prolonging procedures.

At every step of the way, 19 judges - some of them conservative Republicans - consistently have supported this position. Every appeal by the Schindlers has been rejected. [emphasis mine]

Why would Congress do this, my-favorite-political-cartoonist-because-you-worked-for-The-Buffalo- News-when-I-lived-there-and-now-work-for-The-Washington-Post- as-I-live-here: Tom Toles? Ah. That's right. Politics.

Schaivo's family, I need a good ending for this post, give me a crazy legal argument, by way of The St. Petersburg Tribune!
But Gibbs [lawyer who represents Bob and Mary Schindler, Schiavo's parents] said the courts have repeatedly violated Schiavo's due process and freedom of religion rights. For one, it would be a mortal sin, Gibbs said, to let Schiavo die when Catholic doctrine forbade withdrawal of the feeding tube.
Well, at least I get closure.


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